Opinions March 7, 2017

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Donald Edward James
Disciplinary. Disbars Donald E. James. Finds that James committed attorney misconduct by mismanaging his trust account, converting client funds and failing to cooperate with the disciplinary process.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Don Morris, et al. v. Brad Crain, et al.
Civil plenary. Reverses the Hendricks Superior Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Brad Crain and Richard Redpath regarding an alleged business relationship. Finds that genuine issues of material fact remain for trial. Remands for further proceedings.

Ivan Juhan Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ivan Jones’ conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an ACE of 0.15 or more with a prior conviction as a Level 6 felony. Vacates Jones’ conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds that Jones’ convictions violate the actual evidence test. Also finds that under double jeopardy analysis, Jones cannot be convicted of and sentenced for both offenses. Remands with instructions to the Marion Superior Court to amend its order.

Roman Allen v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Roman Allen’s conviction of resisting law enforcement as a Class A misdemeanor. Finds that the state presented sufficient evidence and that Allen was not privileged to resist the arresting officers.

Warren Curtis III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Warren Curtis III’s sentence to six years, with five years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and one year served in community corrections, for his conviction of Level 5 felony burglary.  Finds that Curtis’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Deborah June Harris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses the revocation of Deborah Harris’ placement in home detention and order to serve the remaining 774 days of her two previously suspended sentences in the Indiana Department of Correction.  Finds that the Hendricks Superior Court abused its discretion in revoking Harris’ probation. Remands with instructions to continue Harris in home detention. Judge James Kirsch dissents without separate opinion.

Robert B. Scoggins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert B. Scoggins’ conviction for Level 3 felony aggravated battery and sentence to eight years. Finds that the Lake Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting photographs of the victim’s injuries as evidence. Also finds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Scoggins and that Scoggins has failed to carry his burden to show that his sentence is inappropriate based on the nature of the offense and his character.

Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, et al. (mem. dec.)
Agency. Reverses the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s order purporting to find Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana Inc.’s Electric Demand Site Management Plan for 2016-2017 to be reasonable in its entirety but limiting lost recovery to four years of the life of the energy-efficiency measure, whichever is less, or until rates are implemented pursuant to a final order in Vectren South’s next base rate case, whichever occurs first. Finds that the commission erred in finding the plan to be reasonable in its entirety but capping lost revenue recovery at four years. Also finds that the lost revenue cap is arbitrary and capricious because the commission made no specific factual findings that the cap would allow for the recovery of reasonable lost revenues. Remands for further proceedings.

Angela M. Jewell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Angela M. Jewell’s conviction for Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Finds that the evidence amply supports Jewell’s conviction.

Nyesha Lashay Crockett v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Nyesha Crockett’s conviction of murder and battery resulting in serious bodily injury and her sentence to an aggregate of 80 years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds that the St. Joseph Superior Court did not violate Brady v. Maryland or abuse its discretion in admitting evidence. Finally, finds that Crockett’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and her character.

Michael Kelley v. Wendy Kelley (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the dissolution court’s order dissolving Michael Kelley’s marriage to Wendy Kelley. Finds that the dissolution court’s findings are supported by the evidence, and the findings support the judgment with respect to the division of property. Also finds that Swinney v. Swinney, 419 N.E.2d 996 (Ind. Ct. App. 1981) is not controlling.

Michael D. Fox v. Melissa J. Fox (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms and reverses in part the trial court’s order modifying the child custody and parenting time arrangement previously in place between Michael Fox and Melissa Fox and ordering Michael Fox to pay child support and a portion of Melissa Fox’s attorney fees. Finds that the child custody modification was improper because neither party had filed a motion seeking a custody modification. Also finds that the Huntington Superior Court properly modified the parenting time arrangement and ordered Michael Fox to pay child support. Finally, finds that the attorney fee award had an improper basis. Remands so that the trial court can consider the proper statutory factors and issue a new attorney fee order if it determines one is warranted.

Michael Neil Gann v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Vanderburgh Circuit Court’s order sentencing Michael Gann to 14 ½ years executed after her pleaded guilty to one count of Level 4 felony causing death when operating a motor vehicle with an ACE of 0.15 or more, two counts of Level 6 felony causing serious bodily injury when operating a motor vehicle with an ACE of .08 or more, and Class B misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident. Finds that the trial court did not err by imposing enhanced and consecutive sentences. Also finds that Gann’s sentence to an aggregate of 14 ½ years is not inappropriate.

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